In His Brief But Complex Story "Araby," James Joyce Concentrates

882 words - 4 pages

In his brief but complex story "Araby," James Joyce concentrates on character to reveal the ironies within self-deception. To some, "Araby" is a story of initiation, of a boy's pursuit for the ideal. The pursuit ends in failure but results in an inner awareness and a first step into manhood. The story also consists of a grown man's remembered experience, a man who looks back to a particular moment of his life where he was blinded by illusions, as he tells the story from an adult perspective. Though reality can sometimes be mistaken by illusion set forth by our own minds, as individuals, we should liberate our souls of the vanity that we foster. In this short story we are presented the life of a boy who seems to have mistaken his "puppy love" towards a girl, for something he soon realizes he was wrong about. The boy's life is shown through the past and present of his illusions and reality he is now facing.The story starts off by describing the main character as "being blind", an illusion which is the condition of the boy's reaction to reality, yet the story ends with the boy seeing, "Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself…" the boy's realization to the reality he should see rather than the illusion he had been living. The girl is described, "her figure defined by the light…and I stood by the railings looking at her" it is as if she is an illusion or a dream. Throughout the story we see symbols and images that remind us of the church or religion in general, and perhaps this "image" and description of the way the boy sees the girl may represent the Virgin Mary, a holy figure.The boy was obviously not in love with the girl when Joyce explains "Remembering with difficulty why I had come" the boy is confused and it is the beginning of his epiphany towards his reader-awaited realization. If the boy were truly in love with the girl, he would not have had trouble remembering why he was there in the first place. The illusion that she is perfect in his eyes will soon be unshielded to see the true reality. When the girl asked the boy if he was going to the bazaar, she said it would be a splendid bazaar, and she would love to go. At this point, as she is talking to the boy, Joyce emphasizes that the girl "turned a silver bracelet round and round her wrist" this shows that the girl is nervous, perhaps because she has the same...

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